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Okay, I'm definitely known to accentuate the negative, and there's no denying that I have a ton of fun tearing a bad album to shreds and that I love stirring up controversy and get an erection so hard that I could feasibly concuss a kitten with it whenever people talk about me or my writing. It's just kind of what I'm good at, and I always criticize bands for not playing to their strengths, so what kind of hypocrite would I be if I didn't do the same thing? But with that said, I personally feel I'm at my best when I'm being very positive (my personal favorites of my own are almost universally positive reviews), and so today I'm going to indulge everybody by putting an album up on a pedestal while berating everybody on the way up. Yeah that's right, it's finally time for me to tackle Cannibal Corpse (just pretend I never reviewed Evisceration Plague four years ago).
I know it's odd to claim that what I'm damn sure is the most commercially successful and perpetually relevant death metal band of all time is underrated, but man you'd be amazed. The metal underground seems to have this strange aversion to Cannibal at times, particularly the Corpsegrinder era (with a notable universal exception with Bloodthirst).
But BH, it all sounds the same! They've been releasing the same album for twenty years now! They were only good with Chris Barnes!
I'll never understand this fascination with deifying the Barnes era of the band. Yeah, he was a much better lyricist than Alex and Paul (the two who have mostly taken over those duties since his departure), but as a vocalist he only managed to get through about an album and a half of the deep growl before just turning into this side-splittingly comical grumble on The Bleeding. If nothing else, Corpsegrinder has managed to stay just as vicious and vitriolic as he always has been, even dating back to his time in Monstrosity. And Gore Obsessed is no exception. I love everything about Corpsegrinder, I love how he resembles a thumb, I love how he's one of the most recognizable faces of the band despite writing almost nothing since joining 18 years ago, I love how he sings as fast as a death metal version of Sean Killian, I love how his high vocals sound like a hardcore vocalist fucking a garbage disposal, I just love all of it. He's pretty much the archetypical death metal frontman, and his vocal ability leaves nothing to be desired. He gives it all in the studio and Gore Obsessed showcases his ability just as well as any other album, possibly even better than most. In fact yeah, screw it, this album has the best vocal performance the band has ever given. Seriously, the lows are more hellish than usual and the highs are more vicious than usual, Fisher really went above and beyond for this one, and while he has been incredible before and since, this one is pretty much the apex of his ability.
But of course, George is just one cog in the machine that is Cannibal, and the rest of the band is definitely at the top of their game here. A wise man once posited this (and was largely ignored, like most geniuses in their time (though he wound up actually being a freakin' lunatic, so it's a wash)), but Cannibal Corpse really is the last bastion of that pure death metal sound from the early 90s. After it had finally waded away from that primordial splooge of just being extraordinarily heavy thrash metal, around the time the guttural vocals became the norm and the blastbeat became less of a flair and more of a base; when song structures got more complex and melodies became darker and more twisted or just thrown out altogether in the name of atonal madness. This is the exact moment that Cannibal has been relishing in since 1991. Really, slap an old school production job on Torture and that release date could be 1993 and nobody would bat an eyelash. They've never felt the need to drastically reinvent themselves, and they have been completely correct to not do such a thing. They've struck gold in staying constantly relevant by helping to shape a seminal style of extreme metal and then waving that flag everywhere they go. There's no need for them to take the Deicide route and start adding in neoclassical solos ala Necrophagist, or take heaps of influence from Devourment or something and just get super brutal and crushing. No, they know what they're good at and they continually keep it fresh by simply just being incredibly talented songwriters. That's not to say they haven't evolved, because any fan can tell that they clearly have. With each new album, the compositions get slightly more developed, more well thought out, just a bit speedier, tighter, and more complex. But even so, they keep themselves grounded in that style they helped found, and that alone makes them more interesting than the legions of DDR bands who just continually do the whole "Like Incantation, but... uh, Incantationier" thing a million times over.
All of that comes into play here on Gore Obsessed. It'd be misleading to say "you know what this sounds like already", because that implies that Cannibal hasn't had a new idea in ages, but on the other hand, all the elements they've always employed are here in full force. Paul's incredibly tight drumming with a deafeningly powerful sound pervades like always, and his performances are a huge part of the band's sound. Really, his blasts may not be as impressively fast as somebody like Mauro Mercurio or any ridiculous tech death band, but they are almost infinitely more powerful. And even so, he's still a very good death metal drummer and never feels like he's in over his head. The accusations of him being the Lars Ulrich of death metal and complaints about him being too slow will always baffle me. Not only are they demonstrably false (check "Pit of Zombies", "Drowning in Viscera", "Dormant Bodies Bursting", et cetera), but by that logic, Mike Smith, Steve Asheim, and Pete Sandoval are also terrible drummers because they don't play as fast as the dudes from Brain Drill or Decrepit Birth. Pull your heads out of your asses, kids, Paul Mazurkiewicz is a damn fine drummer, and anybody else behind the kit would simply change the entire dynamic of the band. His groove heavy style is just as important as Asheim's relentless blasting in Deicide.
On one hand, I feel like there aren't as many standout riffs here as there are on some other releases (especially ones that would come later, like "Purification by Fire" from Kill or "Demented Aggression" from Torture), but on the other hand, the cliche holds true where Gore Obsessed makes up for the relative lack of standout moments by just having potentially the tightest and most consistent collection of tracks the band has ever put together. In a way, this is kind of a "back to basics" album, since little flourishes like Webster's ridiculous bass runs are all but absent here apart from the closing track, but the songwriting continued its upward progression around this time, so what we have are a collection of songs that are marginally thrashier than what they'd done for the decade prior, but still managed to get tighter and more complex in the process. Really, something like "Pit of Zombies" or "Compelled to Lacerate" showcases this brilliantly. It's simpler than the blisteringly complex Bloodthirst that preceeded it, but I almost feel that it's a better representation of what Cannibal stands for. And even with that said, there are still neat little quirks like that backmasked intro to "Sanded Faceless" or the impressively lengthy screams in "Mutilation of the Cadaver" and "Hung and Bled". Their trademark slow song this time around ("When Death Replaces Life"), is also potentially the best the band has ever released, even above classics like "Death Walking Terror" and "Festering in the Crypt". And unlike those, it even builds to an exhilarating climax, and the whole song just gets faster and faster as it goes on. Even the Metallica cover is incredibly fun. They really just did everything with this album, and all of it hits bullseye.
Gore Obsessed may not be the apex of their career, but it's pretty goddamn close, and it's potentially my personal favorite from the band. It's in the top three at the very least. It may not have something as instantly recognizable like "Make a Sandwich", "Fucked with a Knife", "Hammer Smashed Face", "Skull Full of Maggots", "Death Walking Terror", "Pounded into Dust", or "Stripped, Raped, and Strangled", but the overall quality is freakin' astronomical, and if you can't lose your mind to "Savage Butchery", "Hatchet to the Head", or "Grotesque" at the very least, then I don't know what to say to you. "Grotesque" is seriously a top ten all time song for the band, and it needs more love, most definitely. That chugging part at the end of the verses when Corpsegrinder is just hollering TURTLEKILL TURTLEKILL over and over again? Sublime! This is easily one of Cannibal's best, and I'd genuinely recommend it as a starting point when looking to get into the Corpsegrinder era of the band.
If you don't like Cannibal Corpse, you don't get to pretend you like death metal.
Originally written for Lair of the Bastard
I once heard someone compare Cannibal Corpse to the Saw movies. Personally, I do not find this to be accurate. If anything, cannibal corpse is more akin to Faces of Death. Their lyrics shamelessly depict images of gore, violence, mutilation, murder, rape, and a plethora of other horrible atrocities found in the darker half of the human condition. With Gore Obsessed, the band continues their tradition of shockingly obscene lyrical content, fast/heavy riffing, and machine gun drumming. This is not a stand out album; although, it is a good addition to the band’s catalogue and does bear some (two) unique tracks. Overall, this is a good middle of the road album that stays fully in the familiar.
One song of particular note is “Pit of Zombies,” one of the album’s faster songs. With the monotony of the current zombie craze, this song should be far more popular. The lyrics depict a hoard of zombies in a pit dismembering and devouring a live victim…and that’s pretty much it. Of course, considering the theme, there doesn’t really need to be any more. The “story” is told from the perspective of the victim who elaborately describes the images and feelings of being eaten alive. Descriptions range from images of ripping flesh to total disembowelment. This is a scenario of a man watching himself being eaten. Enough said! The music is fast paced with thrash style drumming that compels the frantic nature of the song’s content beautifully. The guitar work is pretty standard Cannibal Corpse fare but fitting for the subject matter. As with most of their songs, the theme is what makes the song interesting.
Another notable track is “Hatchet to the Head,” yet another song in which the title speaks for itself. What makes this song stand out is the fact that it is one of the rare Cannibal Corpse songs with decipherable lyrics. Corpsegrinder provides his usual guttural vocals, but oddly enough, the detailed accounts of taking a hatchet to someone’s head (splintered skull fragments flying through the air are referenced early on) are strikingly clear. This may be on account of the vocal quality. The guttural sound is there, but the singer’s voice sounds tired as though this were one of the last tracks recorded for the album. Interestingly, this does not detract from the overall quality of the song. While the guttural depth is lacking, the intensity remains both in the vocals and in the instrumentation. The content works well for fans of the slasher genre but does not have the unique qualities of “Pit of Zombies.” Once again, the music is pretty standard and does not provide any new techniques in guitar work or drumming. Ever familiar, it’s still good when played loud.
But for these two examples, there is not much in the way of development. The remainder of the album follows the same pattern of fast paced thrash riffing and speed drumming heard on previous albums while the lyrical content is, by this time, quite predictable. The value of the album is that it is a middle of the road album. The songs are not unique and the musical style is the same, so for those who like this particular sound/style, there isn’t much to offer disappointment. It’s Cannibal Corpse quality at it’s most familiar.
After their best album with George Fisher on vocal’s, their seminal “Bloodthirst” and a successful live album recorded from that album’s tour; the famous NYDM best-selling band came back in 2002 with “Gore Obsessed”. This album marks a turning point to the definitive stage of the band’s evolution, focused in complexity and technicality and a sense of progression their classic albums didn't had. The first glimmers of this “new” Cannibal Corpse appeared on “Gallery of Suicide”, “Bloodthirst” had a technical but still very memorable and catchy edge that didn't let the complexity blur them. On this latter stage of CC there are some passages where the decoration of the riffs themselves is put over the flow of the song, resulting on very syncopated and oddly timed rhythmic patterns.
The production of this album is very particular, it emulates the live sound they had on their last tour. Cymbals sound incredibly vivid, the crash cymbals sound almost liquid, they have a lot of breathing space because of the strong and firm trebles. The same goes with the ride and the hi hat, even if they aren't as noisy and splashy as the crash cymbal the treble oriented equalization puts them in the front. The strings sound melted, bass and guitars can be fully heard and understood individually but they form one single piece of matter. This massive string attack has the realistic raw and unpolished sound of a live performance, there are no feed backs of course or weird noises but the general tone is very live. They did such a nice work recording this, it sounds like the band in the rehearsal room really. The intensity of the music was fully captured, something very difficult to do with heavy metal in general I'd say.
Corpsegrinder vocals are angry and pissed off as always, guttural in a mid-high ranged fashion, not as deep as the band’s previous vocalist. Guitars' tone is acid, heavily distorted and treble oriented, sharp and thin but not hollow in any way; pretty solid. 7 strings add a darker edge to it, not necessarily heavier but the band’s music puts the weight so it’s all right. It gives them more control over the low end too, so important in death metal. Bass guitar has a slight distortion, precisely to evoke the live sound this record has... It’s a compressed but very dirty tone at the same time; not placed to loud on the mix but still very present, a wise decision. Drumming is very accurate, simple but relentless and very effective. The heartbeat of the Corpse, it dictates the attitude and speed of every riff played. It's not very creative, there aren't offbeats or outstanding fills. It doesn't matter though, the mechanic precision of the band’s drummer and the aggressive nature of the beats themselves give a very contusive and frantic edge to songs.
In terms of composition is where this album stands over its predecessors, it features a more complex riffing. They got better with the years and decided to implement their skills at the limit on every album and then they got here, it’s not like they got stuck in "Gore Obsessed" but the technicality shown on their latter albums is just a further exploration from what they did here. Those other albums however, didn't featured Jack Owen, alongside with Webster and O'Brien; there’s some mystic edge on his playing that defined CC’s music and I think they lost it with his departure, that’s one point in originality for this record. Songs like “Hung and Bled” and “Mutation of the Cadaver”, for me the album’s highlights with “Hatched to the Head”, show a more refined perspective on songwriting. Their new brand of riffing is more conscious than intuitive, more designed than improvised. Slow passages like the intro of “When Death replaces Life” set a different atmosphere to be band’s chaotic and merciless onslaught but still sickening and dark. They combine more distressed and relaxed but equally evil and corrosive chords and grooves to their brutal assault, making it more “musical” and textured.
I might be in the minority for thinking it, and I couldn’t care less: Corpsegrinder-era Cannibal Corpse has been the peak of their career, a long pattern of excellence marred by only a few average, inoffensive offerings. Sure, the days where this was a novelty act used to scare your parents and sicken your girlfriend were long past them, exiting the band with Chris Barnes, but lyrically and musically they have been no less maniacal, no more forgiving. If Gore Obsessed, the band’s 2002 offering and 8th full-length overall, suffers from anything, it’s that it followed their masterpiece Bloodthirst, and partially feels like more of the same methodical, battering carnage.
The difference is primarily through the production. Where Bloodthirst benefited from a fulfilling, choppy, thick Colin Richardson production of surprising depth, the band turned here to the equally well known Neil Kernon. Gore Obsessed thus has a drier, more level tone to it, if no less punishing. On the one hand, this might seem lackluster in comparison to the Y2K flesh monolith, but on the other, it actually helps distinguish the songs somewhat from that monstrous work in the overall scheme. It’s also a bit longer, and has an overall lesser ratio of flawless riffing. Tracks like “Savage Butchery” and “Hatchet to the Head” are not exactly catchy, bursting past the listener in a stream of flailing, separated limbs, yet their energy and authenticity is certainly worthy of passing off the bonesaw to the rest.
The album really starts to pick up with “Pit of Zombies” and its slamming, thrashing verses which bounce the listener back and forth as if his/her corpse were strung out on a surgical ping pong table, two mad doctors paddling his/her innards back and forth to one another. “Dormant Bodies Bursting” is another bruiser with its churning mid section, and “Compelled to Lacerate” turns to another of those escalating, winding mute rhythms that so dominated Bloodthirst. Other favorites here would include the corrosive bombardment of “Sanded Faceless”, the compelling structure of “Hung and Bled”, its grooves yet again recalling the more atmospheric roiling sequences of Bloodthirst, or the head caving blunt instrument that is “Grotesque”. In fact, once you get past the first two tracks, its quite solid for the entire remainder, never alleviating the audience from its savagery.
The cover of Metallica’s “No Remorse” is quite well done, but then, Cannibal Corpse have always taken such tributes seriously (just listen to their version of Razor’s “Behind Bars” and smile). In the end, I’d probably place Gore Obsessed directly betwixt its nearest neighbors in the band’s discography. It’s not so much perfect as Bloodthirst, which is simply one of the best death metal records I’ve heard in some 20-25 years of the genre; but it’s slightly more cohesive and carnal than Gallery of Suicide, even if there are individual tracks on that album I might like more than these. Cannibal Corpse seem to take a fair share of undeserved heckling for whatever political scenester nonsense is hip this week, but they’re a fantastic band who have only grown more reliable with age. The riffs, the power, the brutality, all intact here, all sharpened to precision and prepared to box in the ears of anyone actually listening.
Being the very worst death metal band in existence (also having the least talent in the death metal scene) and releasing the same album over and over ever since losing Chris Barnes from their vocalist/lyricist spot, Cannibal Corpse still keep on going and achieving success in the mainstream, hence gaining more and more idiotic fanbase all the time. Cannibal Corpse are unarguably the most over-rated and generic band in the genre and they should have split up already in 1996 before releasing that godawful album known as Vile.
Chris Barnes was the very spine of this band. He literally made Cannibal Corpse. He wrote the brutal lyrics Cannibal Corpse is known for. And his absence was easy to see when these guys started putting out more and more lame albums repeating the same formula again and again. Not only did they lose their brutality but they also lost their creativity as well. Every album after Vile has been exactly alike and repetitive as hell. Not a single album would be different to the previous one. It's like Morbid Angel without David Vincent. Or Metallica without Dave Mustaine. Mayhem without Euronymous, Slayer without Dave Lombardo, Cryptopsy without Lord Worm, Iron Maiden without Bruce Dickinson, Judas Priest without Rob Halford, Black Sabbath without Ozzy Osbourne... Cannibal Corpse without Chris Barnes is exactly the same thing. This is also why Six Feet Under is about 5 million times more metal than Cannibal Corpse can ever wish to be and there's simply no argument in that.
Now what we have right here is another lame album from this lame attempt at modern death metal a.k.a Cannibal Corpse. Gore Obsessed, released in 2002 yet is in no way special compared to any of their earlier albums with George Fisher (or any of their later ones either for that matter). At the time I was getting into Cannibal Corpse and tried to find their old albums I then found myself buying this CD among Vile since there wasn't Tomb Of The Mutilated for sale in that store. After some listens I started hating Vile with a huge passion and noticed that the same useless ideas can be found here on this album as well. Just like all Fisher era albums, this only includes couple decent songs and the rest are total fillers. Same shitty and in no way heavy or catchy riffs, same lame lyrics and same horrible drumming.
Pinch harmonic abuse is not fucking technique, someone should tell that to Cannibal Corps guitarists. Pat O'Brien is a sorry excuse for a death metal guitarist and as known, he came from the extremely fucking gay prog metal band Nevermore and that alone discredits him alot. Jack Owen is a complete homo too and his input here is just pathetic, although he does dominate in Deicide these days. Their solos fucking suck also. Cannibal Corpse solos sound like total shit and take absolutely no talent whatsoever because you know what? They never actually formulate any solos! They only make up random shreds on the spot of recording and put that for the solo of a song. This is what Cannibal Copse guitarists have done for all the 20 years they've been around. Hello, why do you think they always fuck up their guitar solos live? It's exactly because of this.
Fisher's vocals suck and he never changes. George Fisher sounds exactly the same in every single album he records. Only differences I can think of are in his Monstrosity era when his voice was rather old school and much more accessible than the annoying cum gurgling he would do later with Cannibal Corpse. So all he has done is change from generic death metal vocals to more generic DM vocals which he can't even perform with decipherable words. Oh now that's just great. Chris Barnes takes a different vocal sound for each album he records and he's always decipherable. Specially when you hear Barnes singing live, he articulates every word clearly whereas Fisher forgets his lyrics and just gurgles random. Barnes' deep gutturals also take much more effort than Fisher's weak gurgling shit. So this closes the never ending argument on who's the better vocalist, Chris Barnes destroys George Fisher. Any day.
On Vile album George's voice was completely unlistenable and in no way good. Fisher had just no power whatsoever and he had to try growling a bit higher resorting to extremely annoying and retarded gurgle sounds in the end of every damn sentence. At least he doesn't do those gay pitch gurgle growls in this album anymore, hence he has gone more "monotonous" sounding. But if you ask me, I much rather take monotone growls than those god awful mid-high pitches. I hate Fisher's voice but I still choose his performance on this album over the shit he did on Vile any fucking day. At least he has even an ounce of power in his voice now. Sure he still does those long ass high pitches as you could expect, in this album Fisher does over 10 seconds long screams in the songs "Hung And Bled" and "Mutation Of The Cadaver". His high pitches sound identical to all his previous albums with Cannibal Corpse (Vile, Gallery Of Suicide, Bloodthirst) but as said, I'm gad he doesn't do that extreme annoying mid-high pitched growling anymore. Now it's always either a low growl, regular growl or high pitch.
Then we have Paul Mazurkiewicz who totally sucks ass on drums. It's impossible to believe there's people who actually like his drumming, I mean Paul is the worst death metal drummer around! And no, I don't mind if the drummer in some band isn't the next Mike Fucking Mangini (hell, plenty of my favorite bands rely on rather simplistic drumming instead of super technical stuff) but seriously, when it comes to the fucking point when even I can do better, it's nothing but plain irritating. Paul is a fucking slow and sloppy ass pounder whose live performance is dwarfed even by Lars Ulrich, and that's no fucking joke there. Paul's blast beats are barely even 180 bpm when in death metal they should be like 220 bpm.
Gore Obsessed starts off with Savage Butchery, a song that is unusually good for Cannibal Corpse. Catchy parts can be found here with half decent riffs and George's rapid growls (the only good thing about George Fisher). Even Paul's terrible and slow ass pounding isn't a major issue in this song. In the verses you get "thrash beat" drumming and quite heavy riffing as well, not that horrible pinch harmonic abuse they usually put in about every post-1995 song but actually decent and somewhat even catchy death metal riffing. When the chorus kicks in the riffing however changes into the same uncreative and annoying shit you can usually expect from Cannibal Corpse. Paul also starts blast beating and as obvious, Paul's blast beats are way too slow and sloppy to be enjoyable. Paul ruins about every Cannibal Corpse song with his sloppy ass piece of shit pounding. I can tolerate it in their old thrashy stuff though when it's not even supposed to be so extremely fast and brutal, but in Cannibal Corpse's later albums where they try so hard to be modern death metal Paul just can't hold up the speed. He's not even nearly fast enough for the direction Cannibal Corpse took and that's exactly why Paul just ruins everything in their songs.
Anyway, after the decent song Savage Butchery ends, we get "Hatchet To The Head" which I admit to have its good sections but in general it's just a generic Cannibal Corpse song among others. Not really worth checking out if you feel the same way about this band as I do. Pit Of Zombies starts off with 4 tom hits and then goes right away with Paul's yet another slow blast beat and quite heavy riffing trying to drop you off your chair. Too bad the beginning riff gets boring really fast. It isn't more than just another shitty Cannibal Corpse riff you just can't headbang to. It's not catchy or rhythmic enough, it's just dull. And when you'd expect something cool to happen next, you'll get disappointed. The beat slows down and the song just gets more and more boring, although the next riff they take sounds quite good. But trying to add a fun-listen riff while slowing down the beat is just a kind of a combination that simply does not work. Adding vocals in that didn't help the situation either. For the chorus they would just play out the same thing as for the intro; blast beat and dull riff and then the slowing down shit. Same pattern with the verse is repeated again but after the second chorus ends, they slow down even more from the verse speed while changing the riffing more simplistic and "heavier" the same time. Yes people, it is what it sounds like. A fucking breakdown. Not in any way a good breakdown but just a pathetic and boring breakdown Cannibal Corpse use constantly in most of their songs (yes I know what I said: CC have breakdowns. And I will stand by it).
Then we'll get Dormant Bodies Bursting another surprisingly good sounding song like Savage Butchery was. Going first with blast beats and heaviness and then slowing down to quite an interesting little section where it starts building up to the speed again. Fisher repeats the title of the song first time low, then high and third time very high, apparently showing off his vocal range. The band is playing in mid-tempo when George starts singing "Dormant, bodies, bursting" first low, then the speed doubles when Fisher goes higher. At the third time there's already a blast beat in the background when Fisher screams the song title as high as he can. After that the song repeats the same stuff it began with and then ends. However, Dormant Bodies Bursting is now the second actually good song on Gore Obsessed. And unfortunately it's also the last. Rest of the album are filler tracks with nothing into them and its not even worth looking at those songs any more carefully in this review.
The intro for Sanded Faceless however is very good. It has a damn heavy main riff for CC standards and that getting combined with a blast beat is just what you need. Too bad only the beginning is good. Right when the verse starts Sanded Faceless turns into complete inane bullshit. There's absolutely no fucking point or thought in slowing down the beat like that and taking some piece of shit riff for the verse. Or that inane breakdown in the chorus. The song simply sucks apart from its intro.
Then the album finisher Grotesque is also something I need to mention here. Starting with a quite nice riff and proper drum beat this one actually got me interested. But once again, after this occasional good section they decided to ruin it all and turn their riffing into complete inanity. This next riff they take in this song is just another lame and dull Cannibal Corpse riff. The first verse which kicks in after enduring 15 seconds of that horrible riff isn't so special either. George doesn't do any of his special abilities (rapid fire lyrics) here and the riff in the background is not only generic and boring but also drowned under Fisher's vocals and Paul's drumming so you can barely hear any of the notes. This stuff will conquer the first minute of the song but in the second minute you'll hear once again something fairly rare in the modern Cannibal Corpse: a GOOD section! When about 1 minute and 10 seconds have gone the song slows down for a short period of an actually heavy section with George screaming "did I kill them?" in a memorable and quite interesting way, he repeats the words "did I kill" over and over in fast tempo by first growling it low for 3 times and then going high and even higher until releasing the word "them" in a high couple seconds long scream. This part only lasts 5 seconds but it is definitely a highlight and the best section of the whole song because it's not ruined by lousy riff work, weak vocals or Cannibal Corpse's lack of talent in general but it actually sounds brutal. The guitar solo Pat O'Brien plays here is shit (no surprise) but after that you'll get something better again: a bass solo! Alex Webster's part lasts about 24 seconds and he does some very good bass work there as expectable from an amazing bassist like him. After that you'll get a boring riff and a pathetic blast beat in support of it but there's still something good to hear out near the end: that 5 second song highlight section I mentioned just a moment ago appears again! Good thing there's at least something to keep you listening until the end. So what we got from this song now is 3 surprising moments that make this song almost worthwhile checking out. Intro riff, George's "did I kill them?" spotlight part and Webster's bass solo. Too bad everything else in the song is just shit. Boring and shit. As the whole band in general.
And the Metallica cover "No Remorse" (which can be found on the digipack version and the first pressing) is fucking terrible. Fisher's god awful scream attempts and gurgle vocals ruin everything in the song, not to mention that horrible guitar tone. Even the masterful main riff sounds like complete shit when played by Cannibal Corpse! Solos are all fucked up of course.
And now this pretty much sums up the whole album, the only good stuff in this album are the songs Savage Butchery and Dormant Bodies Bursting plus the 3 special sections in Grotesque and the intro in Sanded Faceless and then there was about 15 seconds of good stuff in Hung And Bled (I'm not talking about George's long "s00per @wzumez!11" scream here). That's it. The rest of the album sucks (this includes their god awful Metallica cover attempt too). There's not a single completely good song in this album. Only some decent sections. At the most 50% of a song is listenable and the rest is fucked up bullshit. Also, did I mention that the sound mix sucks complete shit? Drumming is only noisy and sloppy sounding and the guitar tone is terrible. This is lifelessly over-produced crap, yet the production is still too muddy and all the cuts are easily heard.
To sum things up, Cannibal Corpse is a down right dead dinosaur band and they suck by every stretch of imagination. They have no real talent, no passion, no originality and no potential at all. Their music has no meaning at all, the only thing Cannibal Corpse's stuff can be used for is straight headbanging. There's nothing more to their songs than just headbanging to their aggression, and even then it's only few certain songs catchy enough to bang to. No people, Cannibal Corpse are not true. Not for their genre or for themselves. Cannibal Corpse try so hard to play modern death metal but they epically fail at it. So they try to be something they are not... there is one word for this, which I believe to be "POSER"!
And not only do Cannibal Corpse completely suck themselves but what really concerns me is the fact that this band has been influential. By making piece of shit music like this Cannibal Corpse encourage thousands of other clone death metal bands to do the same shit. It's Cannibal Corpse's fault that modern death metal has gone so generic these days. Cannibal Corpse helped to spawn all these numbers of inane clone death metal bands and even the deathcore bands. And this kids, is the very reason why Cannibal Corpse is the ultimate abomination to all of death metal.
I will keep listening to their 4 first albums though when they had at least some meaning and talent in their music. I was also psyched about the new Centuries Of Torment DVD. But other than that...Cannibal Corpse are dead and fucking buried. Completely.
Never ever buy an album with George Fisher or Paul Mazurkiewicz in it.
If you stop viewing Cannibal Corpse as a sort of dynasty and just look at each individual album as its own entity, it's pretty easy to see why they're so successful. Consistency is a part of it: in all honesty, do you dislike certain Cannibal Corpse albums because they genuinely suck, or simply because they're not as good as others? Probably the latter, because it's not like Cannibal Corpse ever changes its style or delivery very dramatically: the notes just get arranged and rearranged in different configurations, plus or minus a bit of technicality or whatever minor element they're playing with this time. 'Gore Obsessed' is one of the lesser spoken of Cannibal Corpse albums, but that doesn't mean much since Cannibal Corpse isn't discussed much at all. They're just omnipresent and so huge that there's no real point in even discussing them. It's like talking about the nature of your lawn: it just doesn't change much, and you're probably happy with it because of that. On that note, I won't sit here and bore you with yet another description of 'brutal riffs' and 'sick vocals', but rather take a look at some of the elements of Cannibal Corpse that I don't really hear spoken of:
1. Cannibal Corpse still sounds EXACTLY like all the early 90s death metal. The production has gotten better and the riffing has gotten somewhat more complex, but it still sounds right out of 1991. The production, though clearer, is pretty much a perfect representation of that style of early 90s death metal: big, thick bass presence, cool, brutal guitar tone, lucid yet somewhat raw drum sound, and vocals right in the thick of it all. The instrumentation is still pure early '90s DM, despite the increased complexity of the compositions in general. Cannibal Corpse really is one of the last bastions of the original style of death metal; most of the other bands have modernized and lost the style that defined pure death metal, but Cannibal Corpse is still, and probably always will be, plugging away with the original form of the genre.
2. Even at this late stage of their career, Cannibal Corpse still has a lot of thrash influence in their music. The most clear and obvious example on 'Gore Obsessed' is 'Pit Of Zombies', which is, minus the blasting and most overtly death metal elements, a very brutal thrash metal song. The original incarnation of Cannibal Corpse, particularly in the demo era, was highly thrash influenced, and that heritage hasn't been forgotten, though it has grown more subtle with time. Just listen to the riffs in 'Pit Of Zombies'; each one is a thrash riff, though some are faster and more distorted than normal. It's weird that so few people notice this really substantial part of Cannibal Corpse's music, and it's an influence that everyone should pay more attention to.
3. Conversely, there's a lot of brutal death influence, or perhaps Cannibal Corpse influenced a lot of brutal death. Listen to the first few riffs in 'Compelled To Lacerate' and tell me they don't sound like 'Pierced From Within'-era Suffocation. Perhaps they're a bit bouncier and the notes aren't quite as tightly constricted, but it's clearly a Suffocation-inspired riff set. Hell, the drumming alone is hugely similar to Mike Smith, particularly in the completely precise and machinelike blasting. Even a lot of the atonal soloing on this disc is pretty similar to Suffocation. In general, I think that the variety of influences on Cannibal Corpse's music, and indeed, their influence on other bands, is very unappreciated, and I feel that the band is a rather ignored part of the death metal scene today.
It's probably weird to describe the best selling death metal band in the history of the style as being incredibly underrated, but that's exactly what Cannibal Corpse is. Not only do Cannibal Corpse consistently put out great, traditional death metal albums, they've stood by the genre and contributed to it massively over the many years of their existence. It's not even so much that the band is underrated as a whole; they're probably the most popular death metal band in the world today. But among the underground metal scene, the band seems shunted aside in favor of other, somewhat more erudite artists. I think that's bullshit. Metalheads deeply involved in the underground like to pretend that bands like Morbid Angel or Suffocation form the status quo for what death metal is or should be, but in reality, the average death metal fan listens to Cannibal Corpse, slam death, and other 'low' styles of the music. It's most certainly elitist, and it's elitism where it really isn't warranted at all, and many of the people that denigrate a band like Cannibal Corpse are those that want to exclude people from their philosophical club for the purpose of exclusion alone.
The band musically is one of the most accomplished in death metal. The music that Cannibal Corpse plays is not extremely technical, but it is fast, it does have many rhythm and tempo changes, and is pretty precisely written. The band, while obviously not ever going to outdo Necrophagist in pure technicality, has other, more important features: tightness and cohesion. I can't name many more death metal albums than 'Gore Obsessed' which are so precisely played and perfectly composed. Above and beyond their skill in playing, the band are some of the best SONGWRITERS in death metal. Cannibal Corpse doesn't write filler riffs or filler songs; obviously some are lightyears beyond others in quality, but how many Cannibal Corpse songs have you thought of as being genuinely shitty because they feature poor songwriting? There's none. All Cannibal Corpse songs are at the very least listenable and feature some cool riffs or vocal lines, and 'Gore Obsessed' is no different.
Okay, so you have your usual sub-two minute opener in 'Savage Butchery', which is really cool, as always. 'Hatchet To The Head' is a bit awkward, but the tremolo riffs are excellent. Mid-paced thrasher 'Pit Of Zombies' is excellent as well, and features one of the best thrash breaks the band has ever written. But there's other, much more underrated and unknown tracks as well that are just as great: 'Hung And Bled' is a personal favorite of mine (George Fisher is one of the fastest death metal vocalists on the planet), 'Drowning In Viscera' has great, brutal riffing, and 'Grotesque' is a fantastic closer to the album. There are really no weak tracks: Cannibal Corpse demonstrates their remarkable consistency throughout 'Gore Obsessed', and consistently writes strong compositions. It's all obviously direct music, but the less obvious point is that, for all their consistency, Cannibal Corpse HAS progressed as a musical entity; they just don't feel the need to do it in an overly clear fashion. They haven't added weird time signatures, sweep arpeggios, or any other clear 'progressive' leaning, but the music has gotten progressively more developed and complex with time.
The fact is that Cannibal Corpse is a great band, and it seems that the metal scene has forgotten that in its frantic clamor towards more 'intellectual' music. Cannibal Corpse is intellectual, but again, feels no need to advertise this fact to the entire world in the way Dream Theater does. Cannibal Corpse reflects the intelligence of early death metal: a band keeping to themselves, quietly plugging away with their music, and feeling no impulse to appear scholarly to anyone but themselves. This is not 'stupid people's music'; it's just unpretentious and suggests a sort of light-hiding bushel for the metal scene. I'd still rather listen to Cannibal Corpse than Arsis or Portal or whatever trendy new death metal band is taking the scene by storm simply by virtue of them not having to storm at all. I respect these guys a lot more than most bands, and I think more people should: while other bands have faltered, Cannibal Corpse has stayed true to their roots and clearly always will.
Additionally, the hidden cover of Metallica's 'No Remorse' is a thousand fucking times better than any other band could ever do.
When Gore Obsessed kicks off with the terrifying “Savage Butchery”, it is only a taste of the brutality that is held within this album. This album is standard Cannibal Corpse, complete with all the blast beats and hyper-fast technical riffing that all of the fans love.
There is room for improvement though. In the previous Cannibal Corpse records, it seemed as if the band put forth more of an effort to have diversity in their music. Not that all the songs sound identical to each other, but some parts of songs (the intro to “Pit of Zombies”, similar to “Devoured By Vermin” off of the Vile album) sound like they were taken from songs of off previous records. The production could use a slight tweak. The solos on this record are great (check out “Drowning In Viscera”), but they sometimes get buried under the other instruments.
All the band members deliver the goods on this record, Alex Webster still rules on the bass (check out “Mutation of the Cadaver”) and George Fisher has one of the best voices in death metal. He is a much better vocalist than Chris Barnes (see Six Feet Under) ever was and ever will be. He sings with more clarity and seems to put more feeling into his singing. And *gasp* you can understand what he is saying most of the time!
Gore Obsessed is not only the best Cannibal Corpse record with Fisher, but it is also one of the better Cannibal Corpse records. I definitely think death metal fans should pick this one up!
You don't buy a Cannibal Corpse album expecting subtlety, innovation, and great musicianship. You buy Cannibal Corpse expecting bludgeoning death metal, bloodthirsty lyrics and great musicianship. And they still have the amusing zombie artwork!
Corpse's riffs have become ever more complex over the years, and have continued to do so here. Hey, they ain't Meshuggah or Atheist, but there's a huge difference between what's on offer here and their debut "Eaten Back To Life". There are unexpected flourishes thrown in here and there, but the listenability remains. The solos are frenetic, as would be expected, but are perhaps a shade cleaner than in previous albums. The drumming is less straightforward than the earlier blast–blast–blast style, with a few odd rhythms thrown in. Never fear though, there are still plenty of blast beats here!
Perhaps the best feature of this new album is George "Corpsegrinder" Fisher's vocals. They are actually clear enough for most of the lyrics to be understood without closely following the lyric sheet. Corpsegrinder is still bestial in his delivery, but now the murderous lyrical creations are given a fuller horrific scope. Corpsegrinder's style suits the band far better than his long departed predecessor. He has developed a two tone style, both guttural, adding a touch more variation and venom to the overall sound.
"Hatchet To The Head" is bound to become a new moshpit favourite, with a shout along chorus in the vein of "Skull Full Of Maggots" and blast beats aplenty. "Dormant Bodies Bursting" sees the band cut back the speed a fraction on the chorus, to great effect. It's downright menacing! There are no dud tracks here at all.
The final act of this album is a surprising, but extremely well executed cover of Metallica's "No Remorse". To describe it as heavy is an understatement! A nice solo has been added at the beginning, and the rhythm and bass absolutely thunder along. Corpsegrinder doesn't reach the falsetto screech James Hetfield achieved on the original; instead he drags the vocals down to a more deathly pitch. This is really what this song SHOULD sound like!
Cannibal Corpse don't so much get in your face with this album, as leave you "Sanded Faceless".